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First attempt at a full implementation!

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  • First attempt at a full implementation!

    I have been dabbling in GTD for the last couple years. I am a paper planner girl (though I tried hard to use Droid apps for GTD). For some reason I have never fully implemented.......as in I don't do a consistent enough or complete enough weekly review, my physical and electronic inboxs are both frequently full of items that I just don't know what (if anything) I want to do with them so there they sit...cluttering up my space. Plus I am just not a deleter of any personal emails at all.

    One of my goals for 2012 is to really tackle GTD! I dusted off my book and am reviewing it. I have chosen (after long deliberation) to go with the M by Arc Circa system from Staples, and I bought the heavy duty punch since I don't like their agenda pages and I realized I am going to have to design my own. I've also gotten some pages from DIY planner, and I am feeling pretty happy with my setup.

    Basically, my life consists of my spiritual life, marriage, full time volunteer work (in a language I am still learning), part time secular work--which includes acting as CFO for our small business and taking care of all household finances--, as well as my interests, hobbies, and other relationships that require time and attn.

    80% of the time I am outside my home and away from my desk and computer.

    My tabs are:
    Calendars--Lg fold up calendar with 1 year on each side (2012-2013), 2 pg a month calendars with a recurring tasks worksheet on the front side of each month, 2 pages per week with vertical columns for planning, and 1 page a day for tracking--I am customizing these pages to include all the things in I track including my diet/exercise log so that I don't have to deal with separate pages/notebooks for that

    Projects--Containing a projects list at the front followed by 1 pg per project of information on each

    Agendas-- This contains a telephone log for all incoming calls that require action on my part, as well as pages for each person I regularly converse with. My primary use of "agendas" is for our regular family meetings. Hubby and I meet regularly about business related work and also about marriage related activities, so I keep up with what we decide and what we are each supposed to get done before our next meeting. Naturally this category also helps when I have someone else on the phone I can just run down everything I need to handle with this person at one time.

    Sharpen the Saw--obviously I started out as a Covey-gal, but I am using this tab for everything related to personal improvement. I have a list of my areas of focus/roles, my goals for each altitude, personal health information & goals, etc

    Lists/Reference--whatever reference info that I don't keep online or elsewhere. I am also keeping extra forms behind this tab

    Someday/Maybe

    A plastic slash folder containing calendar stickers, address labels, etc

    A plastic business card holder


    The reason I can get away with the thin Circa-style planner is because I have decided to keep my FC leather Classic-size planner on my desk with information that I don't really need to be portable.

    It contains my GTD quick reference card in a plastic sleeve, 2012 Gantt Calendar, (I want to put monthly calendars in here but it is redundant & I don't know why I want them), my methodology info for Time/Design/Franklin Covey/GTD, Goal Planning sheets, Finances info, Travel research, Household (FlyLady info as well as party planning and menu planning forms). FYI, I also have menu planning forms in my portable organizer, but I like to file them for future reference when I am stuck on things to make. And a separate tab for a Covey's 8th Habit workbook. My final tab in this organizer is for reference that I don't want portable--my website passwords (they are in code I doubt anyone could figure out but if my computer isn't with me I can't imagine why I'd need my passwords).

    Over the next day or so I plan to get any actionable items out of my electronic inbox and at least move the myriads of email I am saving to their own folders. Also will be doing something with the random items that keep cluttering up my physical inbox.

    In addition to committing firmly to a weekly review, do you see anything else that I need to add or to do differently?

  • #2
    Where are your contexts? Ie Next actions. The most important part of a gtd system.




    Originally posted by Aspen View Post
    I have been dabbling in GTD for the last couple years. I am a paper planner girl (though I tried hard to use Droid apps for GTD). For some reason I have never fully implemented.......as in I don't do a consistent enough or complete enough weekly review, my physical and electronic inboxs are both frequently full of items that I just don't know what (if anything) I want to do with them so there they sit...cluttering up my space. Plus I am just not a deleter of any personal emails at all.

    One of my goals for 2012 is to really tackle GTD! I dusted off my book and am reviewing it. I have chosen (after long deliberation) to go with the M by Arc Circa system from Staples, and I bought the heavy duty punch since I don't like their agenda pages and I realized I am going to have to design my own. I've also gotten some pages from DIY planner, and I am feeling pretty happy with my setup.

    Basically, my life consists of my spiritual life, marriage, full time volunteer work (in a language I am still learning), part time secular work--which includes acting as CFO for our small business and taking care of all household finances--, as well as my interests, hobbies, and other relationships that require time and attn.

    80% of the time I am outside my home and away from my desk and computer.

    My tabs are:
    Calendars--Lg fold up calendar with 1 year on each side (2012-2013), 2 pg a month calendars with a recurring tasks worksheet on the front side of each month, 2 pages per week with vertical columns for planning, and 1 page a day for tracking--I am customizing these pages to include all the things in I track including my diet/exercise log so that I don't have to deal with separate pages/notebooks for that

    Projects--Containing a projects list at the front followed by 1 pg per project of information on each

    Agendas-- This contains a telephone log for all incoming calls that require action on my part, as well as pages for each person I regularly converse with. My primary use of "agendas" is for our regular family meetings. Hubby and I meet regularly about business related work and also about marriage related activities, so I keep up with what we decide and what we are each supposed to get done before our next meeting. Naturally this category also helps when I have someone else on the phone I can just run down everything I need to handle with this person at one time.

    Sharpen the Saw--obviously I started out as a Covey-gal, but I am using this tab for everything related to personal improvement. I have a list of my areas of focus/roles, my goals for each altitude, personal health information & goals, etc

    Lists/Reference--whatever reference info that I don't keep online or elsewhere. I am also keeping extra forms behind this tab

    Someday/Maybe

    A plastic slash folder containing calendar stickers, address labels, etc

    A plastic business card holder


    The reason I can get away with the thin Circa-style planner is because I have decided to keep my FC leather Classic-size planner on my desk with information that I don't really need to be portable.

    It contains my GTD quick reference card in a plastic sleeve, 2012 Gantt Calendar, (I want to put monthly calendars in here but it is redundant & I don't know why I want them), my methodology info for Time/Design/Franklin Covey/GTD, Goal Planning sheets, Finances info, Travel research, Household (FlyLady info as well as party planning and menu planning forms). FYI, I also have menu planning forms in my portable organizer, but I like to file them for future reference when I am stuck on things to make. And a separate tab for a Covey's 8th Habit workbook. My final tab in this organizer is for reference that I don't want portable--my website passwords (they are in code I doubt anyone could figure out but if my computer isn't with me I can't imagine why I'd need my passwords).

    Over the next day or so I plan to get any actionable items out of my electronic inbox and at least move the myriads of email I am saving to their own folders. Also will be doing something with the random items that keep cluttering up my physical inbox.

    In addition to committing firmly to a weekly review, do you see anything else that I need to add or to do differently?

    Comment


    • #3
      Oops...forgot to mention that!

      Originally posted by darlakbrown View Post
      Where are your contexts? Ie Next actions. The most important part of a gtd system.
      Next Actions are in the front of my book. When you open the cover, there is a sleeve of page flags, followed by my information sheet--to which I stick post it notes in various sizes, then I have a fold over T/D Action sheet, a Waiting For sheet (used a LOT with hubby), and then a few combined sheets with Next Action in the left column and Waiting For in the right--just trying to see which format is going to work best.

      I haven't divided them by context because at least in theory, if I have my 'to go' planner, I can do any of the next actions in it. My other planner which contains the more private info, has it's own lists of Next Actions currently set up in the same way.

      I set up all my contexts with my original set up and I just didn't really like it or see the need for a huge division. I do keep a separate "Errands" list divided by store because there are a lot of places I don't get to often, but when I do there are a lot of things I need to check there--for instance Sam's Club.

      Comment


      • #4
        You mentioned that you don't need to sort your next actions by context. However, you are using some contexts like Agendas, Errands and Waiting For. So, other than those, you keep all your next actions together? You also mentioned that you had a hard time completing your weekly review when you first tried to implement a GTD system.

        If you were to separate your next actions by context, what would they be? And how many next actions on that list do you have generally? To me, one of the huge strengths/revelations of GTD is the idea of sorting actions by contexts. It sounds to me that you have confused your Inbox with your contexts. In other words, every thing is on one list like an Inbox. So what you would normally do during a weekly review is process the list and put the next actions in the appropriate context. It sounds like you're skipping this step because you haven't fully implemented the system.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hmm that could have been part of the issue

          you are using some contexts like Agendas, Errands and Waiting For. So, other than those, you keep all your next actions together?
          Yeah pretty much. I don't like flipping pages when I am trying to get things done--maybe it is partially a holdover from the old style ToDo lists.

          I will have to think more about what contexts would be left, but all I can think of at the moment would be @phone, @computer, and maybe a separate for @internet, but since at home I have access to all 3 and when I am out, I have no computer, it just doesn't seem worth having another list. I will have to hunt up my previous incarnations and see if I am missing any contexts.

          You also mentioned that you had a hard time completing your weekly review when you first tried to implement a GTD system.
          Yes and no. When I actually sat down and DID it, it wasn't hard to complete but I just often didn't feel like I needed to since I wasn't having problems getting things done. Those successful at GTD really seem to value their weekly reviews and I just didn't. I really value my family meetings and weekly reviews together with hubby, but I just didn't value it the same way when it was me meeting with me about what I was trying to get done.

          A big part of the reason I didn't try harder with GTD is because things weren't/aren't falling through the cracks. My system is working well enough to get the stuff done that NEEDS to be done with the natural drawback that my head is always full of 'stuff' instead of being like water. My main goal in doing this is to get runway things out of my head so that I can work on the areas of my higher focus which is where I feel there has been some lack over the last year.

          I spend so much time doing and tracking 'stuff' that some of my big goals/projects aren't getting sufficient attention. I really want to work hard this year on seriously expanding my Spanish, entertaining a lot more, working out more & helping my parents who are starting to hit an age where they can't keep up their home alone.

          We don't want to grow the business. It is providing well for us as is and any more work would require extra employees and we've decided against that headache at least for now. I spent a lot of time setting up business systems this year, so that is mostly set barring a huge shift in our client needs. This year I want to focus on personal and family goals.

          Thanks for your thoughtful questions!

          On the plus side, I cleared out my physical inbox before bed last night, and probably 80% of the electronic one too

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Aspen View Post
            I just don't like flipping pages when I am trying to get things done

            I spend so much time doing and tracking 'stuff' that some of my big goals/projects aren't getting sufficient attention. I really want to work hard this year on seriously expanding my Spanish, entertaining a lot more, working out more & helping my parents who are starting to hit an age where they can't keep up their home alone.
            Great, I'm glad to help out! This is the primary reason to implement the system fully by using contexts and doing full weekly reviews - because your mind is not at zen. If you are still tracking stuff, then your system isn't working for you, you're working for your system.

            Comment

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